‘Enemy’ is a very raw sounding recording – the humming amps and overloaded mics magnifying Blanchard’s highly dynamic songwriting style.
Before she packed up and moved to Scotland last fall, Jane Blanchard spent an August weekend tracking some new music at Memramcook Recording Company. At that time, it had been nearly a year since she released her three song debut, Narcissus, and was just coming off her busiest summer to date, touring and performing throughout Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes. When you stop and think about it, it’s pretty inspiring to see just how much she was able to accomplish having recorded and released a single three-song EP. I suppose that’s all the more reason to be excited about her latest five-track EP, Enemy.
Continuing her musical partnership with David in The Dark bandmate/drummer Stefan Westner, Blanchard chose to work this time with engineer Mike Trask. Over the last couple of years Trask has played an instrumental role in several releases acting as an engineer, a producer and a collaborator, contributing to projects by Janowskii, Julie Aubé, David R. Elliott and several others.
Taking advantage of MRC’s wealth of analog and vintage gear, Blanchard, Westner and Trask were able to create a very raw sounding recording – the humming amps and overloaded mics magnifying Blanchard’s highly dynamic songwriting style.
“I think that Stefan and I really have become more in tune to what the songs need, and as such, every song has a slightly different feel and sound to it, while still being coherent,” said Blanchard.
“MRC have some unreal vintage gear and working with Mike was a really wonderful experience. I was able to experiment with a lot of sounds and tones that I wouldn’t generally have access to, and Mike was wonderful at suggesting weird and wonderful gear that really made the tracks unique.”
Recording techniques aside, Enemy represents a very natural progression for Blanchard and ties in several elements that helped define the songs on Narcissus. There is at least one cleverly placed odd time signature interlaced through an otherwise familiar feeling song structure, and Blanchard’s use of gradual crescendos that stretch over the course of lengthy phrases remains prominent. Westner’s drumming also remains key in defining each of these songs. His ability to heighten Blanchard’s voice and guitar playing without overpowering things is in a word, remarkable.
“I think this EP is very reflective of our sound, and is a little more focused than our first EP,” said Blanchard. “It is also very reflective of what our live shows sound like.”
Blanchard will be back in the Maritimes for a series of shows this spring. Until then, give this EP a solid listen. It could very well be the winter warmth you’ve been searching for.